The Institute is committed to nurturing the constructive engagement of Religion/Spirituality and Science/Technology, and to promoting a dialogue that is interfaith and multi-science. It aims to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking and discussion in contemporary society and to foster encounters of Religion with Science by means of lectures, conferences, workshops, dialogue groups, as well as activities that support a more integrated approach to the teaching of religion and science.
May 2011 saw the establishment of the Institute for Religion and Science, an exciting new venture hosted at Chestnut Hill College that aims to enhance the possibilities for the “constructive engagement” of Religion and Science throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. Emphasizing an interfaith approach to this interdisciplinary discipline, the Institute is working on outreach programs to diverse religious and educational institutions in our area.
With generous institutional support from Chestnut Hill College and a substantial donation from the Metanexus Institute, the Institute for Religion and Science has, since its inception in 2011, offered 40 lectures and/or workshops on topics of religion and science with opportunities for attendees, and especially students, to interact with the speakers. Although most lectures are help at the SugarLoaf campus of Chestnut Hill College, some lectures have been shared with Cabrini College, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Pendle Hill, St. Joseph University, Villanova University, and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. A Reading Circle, designed to encourage more engaged study of the issues, meets monthly. The group has read books by Ilia Delio, Christopher Pramuk, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ Noreen Herzfeld, David Gelernter, Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Margaret Wertheim, John Haught, Christopher Pramuk, Joseph Bracken, SJ, Douglas Christie, as well as a volume of essays about the life and work of Teilhard. The Institute plans eventually to offer symposia and conferences on topics of interest.